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Great personalities in History are those that make the most significant

contributions.
How accurate is this statement in regards to the personality you have studied?
The notion of great personalities being those who make the most significant
contributions is very much reflective of the personality of Albert Speer. Speer can
be regarded as a great personality in history due to his contributions to
architecture, the German war effort and, arguably, his contributions to the antiSemitic policies of the Nazi party.
Speers contributions to architecture are a factor in his status as a great
personality, as not only was it vital in his rise to prominence, but the
architectural feats themselves served to be contributions to Nazi propaganda.
His architectural contributions such as Reich chancellery are still remembered
today as a symbol of the ambitions of the Nazi party, something that Speer
himself would be forever associated with. Furthermore, his contributions in
facilitating Nazi propaganda through his architectural work, as evident in the
world fair, would allow him to climb the ranks of the Nazi hierarchy to eventually
gain attain a spot as a personality in history. Speers architectural contributions
served to as Fest believes, turn Hitlers word into stone, a vital tool in
enhancing Nazism and Hitler, in effect Speers name would be synonymous with
the grand ambitions of the Nazi party.
Evidently, Speers contributions to the Nazi war effort play a pivotal role in his
status as a great personality. As Fest believes, Speer in his role as Armaments
minister was able to prolong the war by 2 years, making him a hero in the eyes
of the people. Speer reorganised the chaotic structuralist system into an efficient
centralised production and managed a 330% increase in production with only
30% increase in work force. His successes in his role as armaments minister
would attribute to his popularity after his release from prison due to the
controversy around his successful contributions in the German war effort. His
contributions to the war effort is summarised in Bullocks statement of without
Speer, Hitler would have lacked the power to stage his fight to the finish. There
are differing viewpoints as to whether Speer did what he did for his country or
out of dedication to Hitler and the Nazi party, the controversy around his
contributions to the war effort have played a significant role in his status as a
great historical figure.
However, one can also see the more sinister correlation between Speers
contributions to the war effort through his involvement in slave labour and his
status as a great historical. Perhaps it was due to his exploitation of POW that
allowed to him become a great historical figure, as Neaves believes Speer to be
the real architect of the slave labour program and thus should bare equal
blame for the millions of labourers pushed to severe punishment (Schimdt) .
On the other hand, there exists Speers denials in his involvement as he had
never visited a labour camp and Fests argument that Speer cannot be blamed
as he was too immersed in his work to notice, supporting the image of the
apolitical technocrat. Either way, the fact that the historical debates
surrounding Speers contribution to the slave labour program exists, proves that
his contributions have attributed to his status as a great historical figure.
Albert Speers contributions in hindering the scorched earth policy and his
supposed assassination attempts facilitated his status as a great historical

personality, as they were vital pieces of information in Speers label as the Nazi
who said sorry. This label is essentially what Speer would be recorded in
historical works to have been or claimed to be. Speers contribution in working
against the scorched earth policy would put him in the eyes of many as the one
who was brave enough to stand up to Hitler (King), attributing to his image as
the good Nazi, the image that would essentially earn him his status as a great
historical figure. Historians such as Van der Vat would argue that Speers
attempts at the assassination was merely a fantasy, others such as King would
argue that he was genuine. Either way, the assassination attempt would be an
integral part of his well thought out defence (Howell), which in turn would
serve to establish his historical image as the good Nazi, a great exonerated
figure for the Western Germans during a time of de-Nazification.
Speers eventual publications and the damning evidence of his contribution to
anti Semitic policies, would prove to create many different perspective and
images of Speer, however none of which can really claim to be the one and only
truth. His contributions to architecture, the German war effort and perhaps Nazi
anti Semitic policies, have resulted in the creation of a historical personality,
which has many differing perspectives that may not even come to represent
Speer himself, however that persona would be forever recorded in history.